Tag Archives: Daniel Wright

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare? Or Have James Shapiro and the Shakespeare Academic Establishment Been “Barding” Up the Wrong Tree?

For Immediate ReleaseMedia Contact
Matthew Cossolotto
Ovations International, Inc.
914-245-9721
matthew@ovations.com

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare?   Or Have James Shapiro and the Shakespeare Academic Establishment Been “Barding” Up the Wrong Tree?

Shakespeare Oxford Society calls for creation of an unbiased Shakespeare Authorship Commission to resolve the authorship mystery

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – April 23, 2010 – Traditional Shakespeare biographers – including James Shapiro with his new book (Contested Will) on the Shakespeare authorship mystery – believe the great poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, was born on April 23, 1564. 

Before you raise your glass to salute the Bard’s 446rd birthday, consider this:  You just might be paying tribute to the wrong person. 

Matthew Cossolotto, former president and current vice president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, says there is plenty of room for reasonable doubt about the traditional authorship theory professor Shapiro’s new book notwithstanding.  “It’s a little sad to see Shakespeare’s birthday celebrated around the world every April 23rd,” says Cossolotto.  “What if we’ve been honoring the wrong guy all these years?  What if we’ve been ‘barding up the wrong tree’ and the so-called Stratfordian attribution is wrong?  I think any reasonable, unbiased person looking at the evidence objectively would have to conclude the jury is still out, that there truly is a legitimate Shakespeare authorship question.”

Indeed, there is a long and distinguished history of doubting the Stratfordian attribution of the Shakespeare works. Noted doubters over the years include Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, and Charlie Chaplin.  More recently, the ranks of doubters include noted Shakespearean actors like Orson Welles, Michael York, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Irons and Sir Derek Jacobi, not to mention current or former US Supreme Court Justices Harry A. Blackmun, Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens.

The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) has been collecting signatures on a “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare.”   Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, and Brunel University in West London have launched degree programs in Shakespeare authorship studies.

Needed:  A Shakespeare Authorship Commission

To resolve the Shakespeare authorship mystery once and for all, the Shakespeare Oxford Society has called for the creation of an independent, blue ribbon commission composed of distinguished, internationally recognized experts in relevant fields – including historians, biographers, jurists, and other esteemed writers and scholars. 

“All members of the proposed Shakespeare Authorship Commission must be unbiased,” said Cossolotto.  “They must declare going in that they have open minds on this subject and are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads – using internationally recognized evidentiary standards employed by leading historians and biographers.”

Cossolotto explained that the initial task of this commission would be to take a fresh look at the available evidence and determine whether there truly is reasonable doubt as to the true identity of the famous author.

The Society is proposing that an unbiased educational institute, think tank, foundation, or concerned educational philanthropist should take the lead in sponsoring the proposed Shakespeare Authorship Commission.  “After all, this is Shakespeare,” Cossolotto said.  “He’s the greatest writer in the English language, perhaps the greatest writer ever.  We should make sure we’re honoring the right author.  That’s the least we can do.  The evidence for the Stratfordian theory just isn’t sufficient.  That case is full of holes.  An unbiased, multidisciplinary panel of real experts should take a fresh look at the evidence and give the world the benefit of their judgment in this important matter.”

Cossolotto continued: “I hope Shakespeare enthusiasts in the media, the entertainment industry, and the foundation community will embrace this challenge.  All Shakespeare lovers around the world should be able to agree that it’s important to determine the true identity of the author. It’s a matter of basic fairness to give credit where it’s due. In addition, knowing the identity of the author will also help us better understand the works and the author’s motivations. Let’s get the facts and reach a scientific, evidence-based conclusion.”

About The Shakespeare Oxford Society
Founded in 1957, the Shakespeare Oxford Society is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to exploring the Shakespeare authorship question and researching the evidence that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550 – 1604) is the true author of the poems and plays of “William Shakespeare. The homepage of the Society also says the group is “Dedicated to Researching and Honoring the True Bard.”  Visit www.shakespeare-oxford.com for more information. 

Oxfordian edition of Othello available from Llumina

Author Richard F. Whalen sends word that the Oxfordian edition of Shakespeare’s Othello edited by Whalen and Ren Draya, PhD is now available from Llumina Press. About his work on this Othello, Whalen said:

The cumulative effect of the clear correspondences between Othello and Oxford’s documented life experience is really extraordinary. There’s no better way to get a deep understanding of a Shakespeare play than to have to read everything written about it and then organize commentary on it. It was a great adventure working with Ren on this edition.

Ren Draya said, “We look forward to hearing responses from readers and hope that our Oxfordian Othello opens new avenues of investigation.” Draya has allowed SOS News Online to publish her remarks on editing Othello that she originally delivered as part of her presentation,“The Dramatist’s Knowledge of Music as Shown in Othello” at the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society 2009 joint annual conference in Houston, Texas: please see “Editing Othello” by Ren Draya.

Announcing Publication of the First Oxfordian Edition of Othello

The first Oxfordian edition of Othello, edited by Ren Draya, professor of British and American literature at Blackburn College, and Richard F. Whalen, co-general editor of the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series, has been released by the publisher, Horatio Editions – Llumina Press.

Informed by the view that the seventeenth Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare plays, this edition of Othello has drawn on the extensive research and writings of Oxfordians and Stratfordians to describe the many correspondences between the play and the life of Oxford. Several of the most significant correspondences will be new to many Oxfordians.

In the introduction to the play and generous line notes, the editors examine how the play reflects the dramatist’s knowledge of the aristocracy, court life, the military, music, the Italian language, and the government and topography of Venice and Cyprus. A major influence on the play was commedia dell’arte, at its height in Venice when Oxford was there but unknown in England; another strong influence was Oxford’s concern for his reputation and abhorrence of the specter of cuckoldry.

In the appendix are articles on the significance of the music in Othello by Draya, on the dramatist’s unusual knowledge of the port of Famagusta on Cyprus by Whalen, and on Stratfordian scholars’ recognition of the dramatist’s in-depth knowledge of military command.

The general editors of the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series, published by Horatio Editions—Llumina Press, are Whalen and Daniel L. Wright of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. The first in the series was Macbeth, edited by Whalen.

Forthcoming in the series, and their editors, are Antony and Cleopatra, Michael Delahoyde of Washington State University; Hamlet, Jack Shuttleworth, English department chair (ret.), U.S. Air Force Academy; The Tempest, Roger Stritmatter of Coppin State University, with Lynne Kositsky; Henry the Fifth, Kathy R. Binns-Dray, Lee University; King John, Daniel L. Wright, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon; Love’s Labor’s Lost, Felicia Londre, University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Much Ado About Nothing, Anne Pluto, Leslie University.

The Oxfordian Othello is $18.95 from Llumina Press at 866-229-9244 or order online from Llumina:
Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Macbeth by Richard F. Whalen
Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Othello by Richard F. Whalen and Ren Dreya

Editing Othello by Ren Draya

This essay on preparing an Oxfordian edition of Othello was first presented by Ren Draya, PhD, as part of a talk entitled “The Dramatist’s Knowledge of Music as Shown in Othello” at the Shakespeare Fellowship and Shakespeare Oxford Society 2009 joint annual conference in Houston, Texas.

Editing Othello
by Ren Draya, PhD

So, this business of editing Othello — well, I survived!  And the book is available from Llumina Press. How did it all start? Richard Whalen, a most persuasive and tenacious Oxfordian, asked me in the cafeteria of Concordia University in April 2005 if I’d be willing to tackle the project. Bedazzled by his Irish charm, I agreed. I had no idea it would stretch into a more than four-year-long endeavor.

Initially, I re-read the play, looked through all my files, and started collecting various editions of Othello. Editing an entire play involves three components:  working on the play text, writing an introductory essay, and preparing line notes.

Getting a copy of the play text on my computer simply meant a download from MOBY on June 9, 2005, which was done by the computer whiz at Blackburn College. Most of the work for this project was done in my very pleasant office at Blackburn College. As you might guess, teaching full-time or being committed to any full-time job, does not fit in well to a mammoth task such as editing a Shakespeare play. About 90-percent of my work was done during holiday times, occasional weekends, and the long summer breaks.

In that first summer, 2005, I spent a week at the British Library, happily requesting and reading dozens of articles and books on the play. (This was July 2005 – just two weeks before the bus and tube attacks blocks from my hotel.)

I wrote the first draft of the introduction in August 2005 and sent it off to Richard Whalen and Dan Wright. Richard became the main communicator — except that we discovered my Macintosh wasn’t always on speaking terms with his PC.  There were initial difficulties with the computers not communicating effectively (or at all) with each other. Because there was no common word-processing program, line numbers did not match up. With help from my students and professional technical advice, the problems were eventually resolved. I also received help from the college library staff, who sent for all sorts of material via inter-library loan from JStor.

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Beauclerk opens US book tour in Portland April 7

Former Shakespeare Oxford Society president (1995-97) Charles Beauclerk will kick off his US book tour April 7, 2010  in Portland, Oregon. Beauclerk will launch Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom: The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth (Grove Press) as the keynote speaker at the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference at Concordia University.

Publisher Grove Press says of the book:

Beauclerk has spent more than two decades researching the authorship question, and he convincingly argues that if the plays and poems of ‘Shake-speare’ were discovered today, we would see them for what they are—shocking political works written by a court insider, someone whose status and anonymity shielded him from repression in an unstable time of armada and reformation.

Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre Director Daniel Wright, PhD who organized the Concordia conference where Beauclerk will speak, said Beauclerk’s book about that “court insider” Edward de Vere will debut at the same time as James Shapiro’s book on the Shakespeare authorship question, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
(See SOS News Online review of Contested Will.)

Wright said:

The American launch of Charles Beauclerk’s latest book, Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom: The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth, will take place on the Concordia University campus in the George R White Library  & Learning Center, at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evening, April 7 — the night before the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference officially opens.

Charles will speak about the significance of his achievement in this majestic work and will follow his presentation with a book signing for those who want to acquire his book — there will be hundreds of copies at this Concordia Universtiy event, the first day the book will be available in the US.

Grove Press, the British publisher, has selected Concordia Universtiy and the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre as the North American home for this effort to counter the same-day release — in London, by Simon and Schuster — of James Shapiro’s latest flat-earth defense of the Stratford man: Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (Yes, on top of the recent lame bios/defenses of the Stratford man by Greenblatt, Bryson, Wood, et al, ad infinitum; Shapiro now tosses his argumentative hat into the ring.)

The Beauclerk launch is an historic event you do not want to miss. A reception with cake and coffee will follow in the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre where you will be able to converse with Charles regarding his new, breakthrough book.

We anticipate a lot of media coverage of this event, so you may get the chance to share your authorship  convictions and responses to Charles’ book with newspaper and television journalists.

Wright announced 2010 seminar at Concordia

Prof Daniel Wright, Ph.D announced the date and topic of the 2010 eleventh annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Seminar at Concordia University in the new Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre. Mark your calendars now for August 15 – 20, 2010.

The seminar topic will be “Did He or Didn’t He? Shakespeare’s Apocrypha: Arden of Faversham, Edmund Ironside, Locrine, Fair Em, Cardenio, Etc”

Wright said participants can register early at: http://www.authorshipstudies.org